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Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

[ Lt. Enyd Madsen | Operations Office | D. 12 | V. 2 | U.S.S. Theurgy] attn: @Griff

The plan to give Ravenholm a backdoor through the Federation Embassy database had been a success. With the chaos of the attack from the Infested in the basement, Enyd had slowed herself long enough to make use of the opportunity as it was presented. It had been during the otherwise meteoric movements through the database on Rutherford and Ravenholm’s account that Enyd had come across the curious log. While she hadn’t been looking for it per say, Enyd knew enough “spy stuff,” as Valyn called it, to recognize the manifest of ship names alongside codes for movements and locations as being potentially useful to them. The log as a whole seemed layered, with her expeditious perusal only revealing one level of information but with the promise of yet more with careful decoding. With the sounds of the fight with the Infested creating a background ambiance of mayhem, Enyd copied the log onto the same chip Rutherford had originally given her for the uplink transfer before rejoining the rest of her crewmates.

Now days later, and finally with the head and time space to address the chip and its copied intel, Enyd sought out the mysterious Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt. Though he’d been on the ship only since his appearance on Praxis, the temporally displaced man’s talents for decoding were already known, even to her own department head. Although she’d mentioned the log to Rutherford, her department head had requested Enyd personally get it decoded instead of handing it off to someone else, making it easier for intel to leak, even if by accident. With her own curiosity of what may lay within the layers egging her on, Enyd hurried through her lunch before making a beeline for deck 12, where she hoped to find the good lieutenant unoccupied and available for a decoding distraction.

Her hair pulled back into a loose braid tucked under and pinned just above her uniform collar, Enyd brushed a few wayward strands away from her face as she gripped the chip tighter in her other fist. Her steps were silent, movements smooth, as she weaved her way through a sudden throng of crewmates just a few feet from the office entrance. Enyd gave a friendly smile and waved to a few she recognized before shifting closer to the Operations office. Though the action was archaic, Enyd couldn’t help but knock lightly on the wall next to the door, drawing attention to her entrance once she was standing just inside, an almost shy smile on her face.

“I’m looking for Lieutenant Leavitt?” Enyd tucked traitorous strands of hair behind her subtly pointed ear, her other hand still gripping the chip. “I have a decoding problem I may need his help with.”

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #1
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @EllenFitz

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It was a quiet day for Alistair, and a welcome one. There were no Klingons to fight, Borg to run away from or temporal problems to deal with. There was no intensive counselling, far-too-cute nurses or serious command debriefings to handle. Alistair's job was simple: sit in a chair and study. The computer lab was empty, with the handful of other Ops officers either working elsewhere or not on duty at all, giving Alistair some much-needed peace and quiet to simply read.

After what had happened over the past month, it was about as close to heaven as Alistair could imagine. All he needed now was a horrendously oversized cheeseburger and chips and he could die a happy man, but unfortunately, food wasn't permitted in the labs. In any case, Alistair had very much enjoyed Sarah's compliments the previous day about his body; no cheeseburger, no matter how wonderful, was worth risking his diet and losing all that hard work.

It was just as he was skimming some educational material about how the computer systems worked during MVAM that Alistair heard an odd sound. He looked at the door with a confused frown as it opened and a smart-looking lieutenant popped her head in to ask her question.

"Hello!" Alistair said cheerfully, grinning as he hopped to his feet. "That's me, I'm Leavitt. Alistair Leavitt." His eyes flicked down to the small chip in the lieutenant's hand, and he regarded her with curiosity. "Decoding isn't really my specialty; mostly I handle high-order programming, quantum and subspatial heuristics, predictive modelling. Decryption is more of an Intelligence thing. I'd be happy to try and help, though. Decryption is really a lot of fun...uh, as strange as that probably sounds."

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #2
[ Lt. Enyd Madsen | Operations Office | D. 12 | V. 2 | U.S.S. Theurgy] attn: @Griff

Enyd watched as an attractive lithe man jumped to his feet, declaring with enthusiasm both his greeting and his name. She couldn’t help the responding smile as she edged closer, eyes only on Leavitt, Alistair Leavitt, as he first doused her hopes for his help and then reignited them.

“Well, to be honest, Leavitt, I’m uncertain if it is decoding or decryption or just my inability to read plain text when there’s a fight going on behind me,” Enyd gave a half shrug, still with an easy smile on her face as she studied the lieutenant she hoped to help solve her mystery, “but any help you can offer would be appreciated. My ‘boss’ wants a report on the contents of this chip sooner rather than later, and would rather not have to go through the process of figuring out the mystery after I hand it over.”

Eyeing the chip one more time, Enyd held it out for his inspection. Only, at the last second, she drew her hand back and, with the other hand, lightly tapped at her forehead.

“I’m so sorry, Leavitt. I’m Lieutenant Enyd Madsen, diplomatic corps.” She held out the chip again, this time without hesitation. “I downloaded this information from the Embassy planet side and came across a ship’s manifest that seemed…odd. Things weren’t quite listed as I know they should be listed, and the names for locations or movements seemed odd as well.”

Enyd reached behind her head and scratched lightly at the back of her neck, a tinge of pink reaching her cheeks before she added, “This whole business is more of an Intelligence thing, in all honesty, but as I was there on diplomatic business with ready access, well,” she shrugged, tossing Leavitt what she hoped would be interpreted as a playful wink, “you know how Intelligence can be.”

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #3
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @EllenFitz

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Somewhat bemused by the blush and wink, Alistair nevertheless remained in good humour as Enyd explained herself. At her last comment, he looked even more befuddled as he took the chip. "I don't, actually," he said with a shrug. "I've never worked with someone from SI before. I'll take your word for it, though." He paused, smiling. "And, uh, call me Alistair, please. We're the same rank, after all, no need to be too formal. Unless you prefer to stay professional, that's...uh, fine too."

At that, Alistair turned and headed for the large console set against one of the bulkheads. He slotted the chip in, trying to ignore a familiar worm in his stomach. Everything about Enyd screamed DANGER DANGER. Not the mortal kind, probably, more the get-yelled-at-by-your-new-boss kind. Even Alistair knew that diplomats weren't supposed to be playing at spying. Still, he was just checking out some data for a colleague...he wouldn't get in trouble for that, right?

Probably?

As the data came up on the screen, Alistair chuckled under his breath. There was a time when the idea of getting in trouble like this would've had him recoiling. Now, after everything that had happened over the past few weeks, such professional concerns seemed quaint. Hell, he was curious, and this could be a fun challenge. Besides, Lieutenant Madsen seemed pleasant enough, data theft aside. Screw it.

After a few moments of reading the large screen, occasionally typing on the console, Alistair stood straight, crossing his arms. "Huh," he said, frowning. "Well, there's no obvious encryption that I can see. Nothing on a large scale, anyway. There is a lot of data to analyse, though." An idea sparked, and Alistair glanced at Enyd with a happy smirk. "Sorry, hope you don't mind me showing off, but this might go a bit faster another way. One of the perks on working on a state-of-the-art ship is getting all the best toys."

With that, Alistair began typing rapidly, and moments later, both he and Enyd were surrounded by holograms, forming a multicoloured web of light around the room. The chip's contents were displayed all around them; file names, file connections, references, metadata, and even more esoteric descriptors. Some files had many branches while others had only one or two, but all were connected by beams of light regardless.

"Holographic interface," Alistair explained casually, trying very hard not to sound too pleased with himself. "It's handy for work like this." He crossed his arms and glanced at Enyd. "So where did you get this data from, exactly? Some random terminal, or from a secure computer access? If it's the latter, I'm kinda impressed you snuck past their security."

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #4
[ Lt. Enyd Madsen | Operations Office | D. 12 | V. 2 | U.S.S. Theurgy] attn: @Griff

“Very well, Alistair.”

Enyd rocked back on her heels as she watched Alistair work. In her mind at least, it was odd to come across someone on this particular ship who hadn’t yet been drawn into this work or that for Intelligence. She also felt guilty for roping him in now, to help her solve her own conundrum that her superior had requested she waltz into—and to be fair, Enyd had danced into the problem without batting an eyelash. Likely prompted by what appeared to be his absolute innocence in all things—even the way he moved denoted a man without beguilement yet filled with fervor—Enyd shifted closer to further her explanation while he punched buttons and worked the magic that she lacked in every way. While she certainly didn’t want to say anything that would make Rutherford or Ravenholm look bad, nor give away unnecessary information, Enyd also didn’t want the man before her to feel as if he were committing treason in helping her.

“My department head requested I help install a failsafe into the Embassy systems so the Diplomatic Corps could continue to utilize the Starfleet database, something that could be used as a backup to what they’re currently using in case the Infested manage to track the current route of diplomatic intel and sever it.” Enyd tucked a stubborn lock of hair behind her ear, wrapping her arms around her back and grasping her hands together in a loose hold. “I did as I was requested to but…it was as I was doing that that I found this other potentially juicy stuff and call me an opportunist, but I thought given our present situation, it wouldn’t hurt to make a copy.”

Enyd stepped back when Alistair stood, a single eyebrow rising at his playful smirk. She had to wait only a few moments more before his cryptic words made sense, and the visual compilation of the data surrounded them. Alistair’s explanation of what she was seeing did little to quell her amazement at seeing something in action that she’d known for some time as possible, but had never had the opportunity to see in person. Even if all this turned out to be was a strangely worded and organized laundry list, Enyd was pleased she’d made the time to seek out Alistair and could see all this. She couldn’t help but reach out to touch one of the files, eyes widening when it reacted to her touch and highlighted a whole branch of data that they could choose from.

Her eyes were bright with curiosity and amazement when she felt Alistair’s studious stare. Enyd turned to face him, expression neutral when he asked about her extraction process. Enyd shrugged, not trying to play coy but also not wanting to give too much away and thus draw him into something that Rutherford may feel best kept within the boundaries of the diplomatic corps.

“I was on the basement level of the Embassy where their Intelligence officer worked. Only, turns out, the Intelligence officer was Infested, and THAT was a doozy to deal with. The console I found was just outside the brig, where I found an old friend who is thankfully not Infested; just what trouble he causes is a natural byproduct of his nature. My officer’s training regime back at the Academy required I take some basic classes in clandestine-esque ops since in many situations, a diplomat is called upon to act as an informant and if that happens, you had best know how to get out of trouble and not just intro trouble.” Enyd had taken to walking through the data streams, imagining she could feel the tickle of the data as it brushed against her skin when she moved through it. Glancing back at Alistair a few paces from where he stood, Enyd offered him a haphazard smile accompanied with a shrug. “I was surprised, in all honesty, how easily the firewall fell away. Ravenholm had prepared some preemptive data on the chip that she said would make things easier for me when establishing the failsafe. Maybe that had something to do with it? But there was no sneaking, at least not really. Did they expect me to pause in my flight from the brig to the Intelligence area in the middle of a battle to install then download data? Probably not. But then, they hadn’t expected their Intelligence officer to be Infested either.”

Enyd again clasped her hands behind her back, did a slow turn, then returned her gaze of pure curiosity and hope back to Alistair.

"Is this just a giant laundry list or is there something here that is useful for our mission to combat the Infested within Starfleet?"

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #5
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @EllenFitz

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Alistair worked quietly on a holographic node as Enyd told her story, growing more intrigued by the cheerful diplomat by the minute. It was an exhilarating story, made all the more interesting as told by the unassuming woman who was milling around the lab. As time passed, Alistair's smile grew even as he multitasked.

"I'm not sure, as it stands," he said, stepping back from one of the bright nodes of the holographic web, considering it thoughtfully. "I see why this confused you, though. See here?" He pointed up above his head at a yellow node of the web, accompanied by a small list of file names and metadata. "This is just weird. It's a low security folder for logistics to supply the embassy, but the file names don't fit. I know for a fact that the USS Daring is in the Gamma Quadrant right now; I've got a friend who's serving on it. And if this is low security logistical data, how come the metadata is saying it was originally stored on the embassy's secure bioneurals, with all the bells and whistles? H9 bioneurals, at that? Low security files like these are meant to be stored on the older computer system, not the new H9's. That technology is so fancy and classified that even Theurgy and Odyssey-class ships don't have it, just particular starbases and embassies."

Realising that he was rambling a bit, Alistair smiled apologetically at Enyd. "Sorry, uh...I mean, it's funky. That's my professional opinion. This data is really funky. I'm just not sure how funky. I didn't catch any encryption or codes in my scan. It's like...uh, I don't know, like some really dumb computer algorithm dreamed up some fake data. Well, more like some lazy Intel officer at the embassy didn't bother proof-reading it after the algorithm spat this junk out. But why? Why would there be a..."

At that, Alistair trailed off, gazing at Enyd, his eyes slightly out of focus as his brain raced. The holographic lights had an interesting effect on her face, giving her a distinctly different appearance, although still remarkably pretty and intriguing. Finally Alistair grinned in triumph, one hand running over his shaved scalp.

"Hey, Enyd?" he asked excitedly, looking more like an excited schoolboy in his enthusiasm than a middle-aged combat veteran. "In your job, do you ever...uh, I don't know, present an artificial facade to people you're negotiating with? Pretend to be one thing, when you really feel another? Do you ever do that for a reason, to achieve a specific goal?"

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #6
[ Lt. Enyd Madsen | Operations Office | D. 12 | V. 2 | U.S.S. Theurgy] attn: @Griff

Enyd moved closer as Alistair pointed to the bit of data that seemed off. Even though he began to ramble, a long-time rambler herself, Enyd tracked the conversation well enough to vaguely get the gist of what he was saying. She still smiled appreciatively when he summarized his findings a moment later. When his expression changed to one of a far-eyed stare, Enyd quirked an eyebrow, curious what it was Alistair was thinking. Enyd recognized the look of deep thought well enough. When the man suddenly smiled as if he were the cat who caught the canary, Enyd found herself shifting onto her heels as if bracing for what he said next.

His question wasn’t quite what she was expecting, but Enyd thought she caught the drift of why he was asking, even as she thought of her answer. Perhaps this data was exactly that, something pretending to be another thing. Enyd wasn’t shy about nodding. While other diplomats may try to be coy with their answer, Enyd was “off the clock” so to speak and had no reason to beguile Alistair.

“Contextually speaking, when it becomes necessary in order to accomplish the mission, then yes. That is part of our training, and it is because of that mutual background training in the arts of verbal or physical deception that allows many diplomats to serve as temporary Intelligence operatives and sometimes, Intelligence officers acting as emergency diplomats.” Pointing to the data swirling in the air nearby, Enyd added, “Is that what you think this is?”

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #7
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @EllenFitz

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"In a way, yes," Alistair said cheerfully as he started pacing from one data node to another, occasionally flicking through holographic pages as he went. "See, when you encrypt something, you usually do a general job. You don't want anyone to read it. That's a very difficult thing to do, though, so there's always a compromise. You need to protect against Romulan decryption, Dominion decryption, Ferengi decryption, but they're all very different. The end result is that you need to find a compromise that'll work reasonably well against everything."

He was completely in his element now, thoroughly absorbed. "But the data you retrieved doesn't need that compromise. The embassy knew that the Theurgy was coming for days, so they would've adapted their encryption protocols accordingly to protect their data against just us. They know that even if we got their data, we'd use Federation decryption protocols. It's really very clever; this thing is so well encrypted that to a Starfleet computer, it doesn't look encrypted at all."

It was only when Alistair nearly walked right into Enyd that he fully remembered why she'd come. He stepped back to polite distance and smiled apologetically. "Uh, sorry. I know this is a lot more interesting for me than for you. Bottom line: I think I can crack this."

With that, Alistair glanced around the room, his bald head tilted in thought. "Computer, switch out this holographic overlay for a Klingon overlay. The standard KDF system, please, but with the human profile. Klingon alphanumerals give me headaches." The holographic web changed colours; the bright blues and yellows transformed into more ominous dark reds, greens and oranges. although all the text and numbers remained the same. "Now trim out the actual data and show me only the metadata via the Lorv'aq model. Reorient the web for data density per individual node, expanding outwards spherically."

The holographic web shifted again, this time into a smaller spherical web in the centre of the room. Alistair stepped over to it and began working, his hands flicking through the holograms. A few moments later, he let out an exuberant "yes!" to the ceiling and glanced back over his shoulder at Enyd.

"Nailed it," he said confidently, pointing at a light green holographic page next to his head. It looked like complete gibberish, but it evidently made sense to Alistair judging by his cheerful exuberance. "Computer, load up the Klingon decryption suite, the very latest stuff. Apply a hex-dimensional algorithm to this node with that suite. Use the result to figure out the encryption scheme, apply the decrypt key to the whole data set, then visualise that resulting data via the standard Starfleet model that we used at the beginning."

It only took a couple of seconds before the holographic web returned to its previous form, with all the brighter and happier colours that Enyd and Alistair were familiar with. The ever-so-slightly-smug Alistair moved to stand alongside Enyd, crossing his arms.

"There you go," he said, grinning.

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #8
[ Lt. Enyd Madsen | Operations Office | D. 12 | V. 2 | U.S.S. Theurgy] attn: @Griff

Enyd crossed her arms over her chest, one hand coming up under her chin, fingers moving to cover her mouth and hide her smile. She knew, without having to draw attention to the fact with a question or voicing her observation, that Alistair was completely unaware of how adorable he was when working. The energy that he exuded, near pulsating as a bright aura around his body, parted the air as he flitted hither and thither, the words shared a mixture of making sense and going into a type of jargon Enyd had no dictionary background in. When he nearly walked into her, Enyd swallowed her giggle. She waved a hand elaborately in front of her, bowing at the hips to make room for him as he continued.

“No apology necessary, Alistair. I am following the general gist of what you’re saying, and I find it fascinating, with much of that fascination due to the manner in which you package the information.” She couldn’t help but wink at him, hoping he understood her good-natured intention. “Anything you can ‘crack’ here will result in less of my head cracking when I report what we find.”

Enyd fell silent again while Alistair spoke directly to the computer, issuing a series of orders that Enyd wouldn’t have had the foggiest existed until this moment. Instead of trying to memorize the orders, Enyd kept her eyes trained on the data as it morphed as a result of his orders. In many ways, Alistair was acting as a conductor to this orchestra of data and Enyd felt keenly that this was as much of an art form as music, painting, or poetry. And certainly it was an art form she did not readily excel at, making her doubly grateful that Alistair both existed and had been available to assist.

His shouted exclamation had Enyd startling, but she grinned at him when he looked over his shoulder at her. Alistair issued a final set of orders before returning to take position beside her, everything about his features denoting a man satisfied with his work and skills. Pausing a moment before delving into the data gift-wrapped before her, Enyd turned to face Alistair and gave him genuine applause.

“That was a beautiful thing to behold, Alistair. Thank you.” Though uncertain how he felt about physical touch, Enyd couldn’t help but tip forward and press a light kiss against his cheek. There was something about the man that begged for such affection and, not entirely against impulsive actions, Enyd indulged herself. “Now, what do we have here.”

Turning back to the data, her attention fully upon the colorful bits of intel, she didn’t catch Alistair’s immediate response to her action or words. Instead, Enyd was taking note of the ship designations and starbase locations, the names of Starfleet officers and Federation officials, and felt both a sense of satisfaction at having this information open for further study and a sense of foreboding. It would be foolish to assume that it directly linked this information to the Infested, yet it would be equally foolish to think it entirely separate. There was nothing she could determine right now without further study, and in truth, the Intelligence department had more reason to study this data than either herself or Rutherford.

“Could you make a copy? I would like to be able to pass this information to both my department head and the head of Intelligence simultaneously.” Turning once more to Alistair, Enyd gave a half shrug and a smile. “That way I’m following orders and going above and beyond. A-level student.” She threw up an old-fashioned peace sign as she cocked her hip to the side in the manner of a young girl.

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #9
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @EllenFitz

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Broadly speaking, Alistair wasn't used to people regarding his work as 'beautiful', and he regarded Enyd in askance. That confusion grew tenfold when she spontaneously pecked him on the cheek before moving off, leaving a thoroughly bamboozled lieutenant in her wake. He simply stood there for a moment, trying to work out what the heck had just happened.

After all, officers didn't just randomly kiss each other...right? Wasn't that a rule? Even after a particularly sexy decryption? It was probably a rule. Oh, never mind, it was a stupid rule, especially when the kissing officer in question looked so darn cute.

Enyd's request jerked him back into the moment, and Alistair cleared his throat to cover his lapse. "Oh, yeah, right, of course, certainly," he babbled, glancing around at the holographic data before moving over to the large console mounted on the wall. Alistair typed rapidly, and in short order, he pulled a small chip from the console. He returned to Enyd and handed her the chip, smiling once more.

"All done," he said, but after a moment's thought, Alistair raised a hand. "Just...uh, do me a favour? I'll need to write a report and pass it on the Intelligence, so they can replicate how I decrypted this thing. I know that they have an analyst down there, a Lieutenant...uh, what was that name...Anh-Le? That's probably his first name, now that I say it out loud, er, never mind...or maybe her first name, or their first name, I've no idea. Anyway, Lieutenant Dantius might not like me doing their job like this, never mind doing it this fast, so could you...um, downplay what I did?"

Alistair ran a hand over his scalp, grinning awkwardly. "Lieutenant Dantius might be the proud sort, and I don't want to step on any toes. They'll know that I did it from my report, but I would just prefer that it's not...uh, rubbed in their face. In a manner of speaking."

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #10
[ Lt. Enyd Madsen | Operations Office | D. 12 | V. 2 | U.S.S. Theurgy] attn: @Griff

Only in hearing Alistair clear his throat and at first sound a bit disjointed, Enyd realized that perhaps the kiss had been “conduct unbecoming an officer.” Such actions were one thing when traded between friends or kindred spirits like Victor. But she’d been in acquaintance with Alistair for such a short amount of time that it would not surprise Enyd if her action had caused short circuits in his internal wiring. Enyd was on the cusp of apologizing when Alistair raised a hand. Unable to resist, Enyd pointed to him as a matronly teacher might one of her young pupils, mirth dancing in her gaze as she listened to his well-founded request.

“Oh, of course!” Enyd knew a thing or two about contingency measures to placate and mitigate pride. Tossing her head, Enyd feigned an old Earth accent from the southern region of North America as she spoke, “Why Lieutenant Dantius, I cannot begin to tell you how it happened! There we are, Lieutenant Leavitt and I, staring at a mass of gobblygoop with our eyes going crossed and the next, well ages and ages later, you know I quite thought I’d develop grey hairs before the end of it, and the whole thing amassed together into a tapestry of sense being made. We were beside ourselves with delight and with none too little confusion, for it was quite by providential happenstance that Lieutenant Leavitt was ever able to finally find the method to cracking this Faberge egg.”

Once more cocking her hip to the side, Enyd crossed her arms over her chest and tipped her head back, smirk firmly in place.

“Will that or its equivalent do or should I put more emphasis on my powers of allurement and it was only after I seduced you that you were willing to help me at all?” Enyd barely kept the playful smirk in place the milliseconds it took to toss Alistair a wink before her fit of giggles spilled out, a hand quickly covering her mouth and belly as she gave herself over to amusement.

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #11
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @EllenFitz

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As Enyd began her little performance, Alistair crossed his arms, struggling to hold back his laughter. When Enyd changed tack, he couldn't help but chuckle, shaking his head in mock dismay. The wink confused Alistair even more, but by that point he had just surrendered to the chaotic energy that was Enyd Madsen, and he was consumed by silent chortling right along with her.

"On balance, the second option is much more fun," he said as he recovered, still grinning. "Much more dramatic, too. 'Cute diplomat seduces hapless lieutenant into helping her' is far more interesting than 'bored diplomat waits for hours because of hapless lieutenant's incompetence'. Much more believable as well, having met you."

Alistair chuckled once more, shaking his head in bemusement as he realised that there was more truth there than he liked to admit. His reaction to Sarah in Sickbay (and his very unprofessional thoughts at the time) had highlighted that, not counting the nightmare on Betazed, it had been far too long since he'd dipped his toe in the dating pool, never mind had real physical contact with a woman. A year? No, more...two years now! Any pretty woman aboard probably could bend him to her will by just batting her eyelashes and saying 'come hither'.

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #12
[ Lt. Enyd Madsen | Operations Office | D. 12 | V. 2 | U.S.S. Theurgy] attn: @Griff

“Seduction spiel it is then.” Enyd made a finger gun with a firing motion, accompanied by another wink at Alistair’s suggestion and assessment of the situation. Within milliseconds, her playful expression changed to mock surprise and a feigned sense of shyness as she scuffed her foot against the floor and clasped her fingers in front of her hips while shyly glancing up at Alistair. “You think I’m cute?”

Though she allowed him a few seconds to potentially flounder in her bold statement, Enyd eventually took pity on the poor man. One, they’d only just met, and he didn’t have the relational experience with her to know that she wasn’t EXACTLY certifiably insane. And two, she also had no prior knowledge of his preferences or present circumstances with shipmates, and it really wouldn’t do to push him too hard and end up with a sexual harassment reprimand on her record.

“How about, as a way of saying thank you for putting your charming neck on the line for my egg hunt, we meet up again in the near future for drinks? Or a meal? Or a holodeck adventure? Your pick: date, place, and time. It’ll be easy enough for you to access my duty times and plan accordingly, given your position here. I won’t even report you for stalking if you do.” Enyd reached out and lightly punched his shoulder. “What say you?”

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #13
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @EllenFitz

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At Enyd's sudden bashfulness, Alistair's eyes widened in alarm, his cheeks flushing. "What I mean, uh, to say," he babbled, gesticulating wildly in his panic, "is that you, uh, from objective standpoint, have a degree of cuteness that's...no, that's not helping, sorry, not professional, what I mean is to say..."

At that, Alistair trailed off into silence, his mouth still opening and closing wordlessly even as his brain had stubbornly decided to stop working. When Enyd finally showed mercy he simply stood there, feeling pissed off, impressed and amused all at the same time. Alistair didn't even know which emotion was winning out, with his brain continually spitting out error messages all the while.

"You are a very strange person," Alistair eventually got out, crossing his arms and taking a deliberate step back to give himself a little breathing room. Nevertheless, he couldn't stop himself grinning. Darn it, this woman was driving him nuts, so why was he enjoying it so much!? "But yeah, you got it. I think we'll still be in orbit for a few days, and I won't turn down a new friend, so...uh...I'll think of something and get back to you. I bet there'll be something fun down on Qo'nos, somewhere. It's not every day you get shoreleave on a planet like that."


Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #14
[ Lt. Enyd Madsen | Operations Office | D. 12 | V. 2 | U.S.S. Theurgy] attn: @Griff

“Strange is perhaps one of the most cordial descriptions I’ve gotten recently,” Enyd smiled, her humor still apparent albeit somewhat sobered from just moments prior, “and I believe my grandmother helped to invent more than a few synonyms for ‘incorrigible’ over the years.” Taking another glance around the room before letting her warm gaze return to Alistair, Enyd held up the data file and gave it a light shake. “Thank you again for the help, new friend.”

She put an intended awkward emphasis on the term and grinned as she watched the man’s response. Something about Alistair just begged her to vex him in a way she rarely did with others, or at least none she’d met on the ship so far. At his suggestion of the planet for their follow-up encounter, Enyd feigned a grimace and then put on an exaggerated “brave face” for his entertainment. Yes, there was definitely something about him that brought out her inner teenager and this could prove to be either good or terribly bad.

“I’ve already had some adventure on the planet in an official capacity, and I’m slated to have more in the near future, so doing something for fun for a change would be welcome. Might help me not growl whenever someone suggests going to Qo’Nos for the holidays.” Enyd laughed at her own suggestion, realizing it was unlikely anyone would ever suggest that very thing. “In any case, I won’t take up more of your time. With that smile, and your shocking speed and expertise, with this data sort of thing,” Enyd again held aloft the data file with a knowing smirk, “I’m sure you need to go through the backlog of date options for this evening.”

Enyd gave a playful wink and moved to the doorway. But she stopped before moving into the corridor and spoke over her shoulder in a genuine voice with an equally genuine smile flashed at the man, “I look forward to seeing you again, Mister Leavitt.”

She floated away on a cloud of inward giggles, marveling at her ability to be an adult and yet act like a child. Either there was something that they pumped in through the ventilation system in that room or Alistair Leavitt had an aura that spelled juvenile-esque trouble for the likes of Enyd.

Re: Day 03 [1355 hrs.] Decoding to Distraction

Reply #15
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @EllenFitz

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Alistair's response to Enyd's emphasis on the phrase 'new friend' was predictable: he smiled, shuffled his feet awkwardly and cleared his throat, having no idea how to reply. He still had his arms crossed as Enyd readily accepted his suggestion, and when she fired off her final compliment, he couldn't stop the warm blush that spread through his cheeks or the sudden tightness in his chest. Nevertheless he was the very picture of a grinning idiot as Enyd made her departure, exuding rampant audacity and sass as she went.

"Until next time," Alistair called back before the doors closed, leaving him standing in the middle of the lab, feeling remarkably different to before Enyd had come in. Damn, his heart was beating faster than normal with the teasing whiplash that Enyd had just subjected him to. After taking a moment for a deep breath of release, Alistair returned to his station, plopping himself down in his seat to begin the report for Intelligence.

It was a good few minutes later, after he'd recovered, that Alistair stopped working. He glanced back at the door, then at his console, then back at the door again,

"What just happened?" he asked the empty air, thoroughly confounded. The universe had no answer.


-FIN

 
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